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Witherspoon keeps buddy comedy "Hot Pursuit" from going cold

Published May 10, 2015

"Hot Pursuit" isn't a particularly strong film, and admittedly there's not much of a rousing defense to be made for it (get that pull quote ready for the ad campaign!). But there is one element - and a fairly significant one at that - in the movie's corner: Reese Witherspoon. I will go to bat for her delightfully bright eyed performance here, one that serves as just enough of a sparkplug to almost single-handedly get this tired comedic vehicle where it's going.

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"Avengers: Age of Ultron" successfully battles robots and sequel bloat

Published May 1, 2015

It's easy to forget that, before it became the franchise model for everything, "The Avengers" didn't sound like a great idea.Yet Marvel and Joss Whedon took a pile of potential excess and smoothly honed it into a burst of pop entertainment. And amazingly, they've managed to make it all work yet again with "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," assembling a ton of moving parts into another thoroughly fun - if not quite as effortlessly harmonious - blockbuster.

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Pack an umbrella and sunscreen: A 2015 summer movie season forecast

Published April 30, 2015

Tonight, people across the country will feast their eyes on the first big blockbuster of the summer season, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." But that's just the gigantic, explosion-filled appetizer for the upcoming summer banquet of movies to come. But which ones are looking bright, and which ones are looking a little cloudy? Allow me to put on my movie weather man cap and provide you with a seven-day forecast (more like four-month, but whatever).

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"True Story" is less than the sum of its talented, intriguing parts

Published April 26, 2015

Adapted from the 2005 memoir of the same name, "True Story" plays like an intriguingly well-paved road to nowhere. The movie certainly presents plenty of interesting pieces: two actors - Jonah Hill and James Franco - playing against type but perfectly cast, a post-Oscar nomination Felicity Jones and a bizarre real story. Part by part, it's fairly engaging, but when it comes time to add everything together, the final sum is as nondescript as its title.

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